I start by finding out in what areas the student most wants to learn. Conversation by small talk is a big part of it, but so is grammar. I hit upon a very effective way to teach grammar. I have the student write a page on a familiar topic. Then I read it carefully to find CORRECT sentences and say, "This is exactly right; but why?..." They usually don't know--but are very eager to find out! This is MUCH better than correcting error. People are FAR more motivated to find out what they did right, and to know why, than in what they did wrong. Real learning is increased this way, happens more quickly, and is more surely retained.
I attended the University of Florida, left without a degree, but later took the TESOL training at Seattle Central Community College and was certified in 2006. As a young man I lived in Bellingham and worked on a salmon seiner as a skiff man, then worked as a welder/fitter most of my working life. Eventually I was too old for the industrial pace, so I drove box truck, then transport van, until the condition called apnea prohibited me from continuing to drive commercially.
First lesson is free. Student decides whether to continue. Lessons to last one hour @ $16/hr.
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